Every now and then a cause is brought to my attention accompanied with a request for support. There is so much evil in our world and it saddens me to what degree mankind extends its viciousness onto another human being; often times these actions have dire consequences.
A friend asked me to share this horribly sad story of institutional abuse with my readers. I hope my sharing this story will help her cause and you will sign the petition in support of her valiant effort.
Here is the back-story: On Thanksgiving, a grade-school gym teacher parked her Mercury SUV on the shoulder of Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana, got out and walked in front of a moving semi-truck. The 32-year-old’s suicide shocked the tiny Ford Heights school district where she worked. In other words Mary died to teach!
In the days afterward, tension grew amid conversations by co-workers about what had happened and questions from the Army veteran’s parents. The turmoil peaked during a crowded meeting in December, when some teachers and school board members clashed.
The suicide note that Mary Thorson left centered on frustrations at the school, and her death spurred some of her co-workers to speak out at the public meeting. Teachers described an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the two-school district, where little things snowballed over time.
Even some of those close to Thorson acknowledged that it’s difficult to pinpoint why anyone commits suicide, but her death opened wounds in the district. School district officials have vowed to work on healing with new channels of communication. School board members and the administration expressed sorrow over Thorson’s death but was also surprise at the way some teachers described the work atmosphere.
Thorson, known as Coach T, left behind a handwritten, six-page note in her SUV. Other than one paragraph in which she apologized to her parents for the hurt her death would cause, the rest of the note was exclusively about Ford Heights School District 169.
The students “loved her,” said Walter Cunningham, who taught physical education with Thorson. “She treated them like a daughter or son. They all gravitated toward her.” Like many of the teachers there, Thorson used her own money to buy students school supplies or warm clothes if she saw a need, Cunningham said. More than 98 percent of the 520 students in the district are considered low-income, according to state records.
There is a documentary soon to be released that tells the story of a grade school gym teacher who committed suicide in November 2011 and left a note alleging intimidation in the workplace directed by Myra Richardson. It is chilling and I would encourage you to support the film, and remember it could occur in your child’s school.
Lastly, I cannot say I know much about the details of the situation but a friend close to the situation asked me to share the story of this tragedy. Therefore, on her behalf I ask that you kindly visit the website below for more information about what she calls “teacher abuse” and sign the petition. My prayers and sympathy goes out to the family of this teacher for their tremendous lose.
And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective …